Exchange Vocabulary

Upset feelings are usually caused by the way we are thinking about the events in our lives, not by  the events themselves.

To change your feelings (and your behavior), try the following “Exchange Vocabulary.”

This idea was given to me by a client, who related it to an exchange list for unhealthy foods. When you first try this new way of thinking, it might not feel right. The more you do it, however, the more natural these realistic beliefs will become.

I think you will like the results, but prove it for yourself by giving it a fair try.

Good luck.

© Robert F. Sarmiento, Ph.D.
Used here with permission.

Word Exchange Table


Instead of thinking:


Try thinking:

Must

Prefer

Should

Choose To

Have To

Want

Can’t

Choose Not To


Ought

Had
Better

All

Many

Always

Often

Can’t Stand

Don’t Like

Awful

Highly Undesirable

Bad
Person

Bad
Behavior

I am a Failure

I Failed At

 

Statements


Instead of Saying:


Exchange With:

I
have to do well.

I
want to do well.

You
shouldn’t do that.

I
prefer you not do that.

You
never help me.

You
rarely help me.

I
can’t stand my job.

I
don’t like my job.

You
are a bad boy.

That behavior is undesirable.

I’m
a loser.

I
failed at this one task.

I
need love.

I
want love, but don’t need it.

 

Emotional Vocabulary Exchange

REBT does not endeavor to eliminate emotions. Quite to the contrary! Emotions are very useful and are part of the human advantage — when appropriate!


Instead of Saying:


Exchange With:

Anxious

Concerned

Depressed

Sad

Angry

Annoyed

Guilt

Remorse


Shame


Regret

Hurt

Disappointed

Jealous

Concern for my relationship

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